19 March, 2012

SpaceX on 60 Minutes

Elon Musk is the founder of SpaceX, a privately owned spaceship company from California. SpaceX is the first company to send a capsule into orbit and successfully retrieved the capsule after reentry. Their Dragon Capsule will most likely be the space craft that helps the United States eliminate its dependence on the Russian built Soyuz Capsule to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station. SpaceX claims that the Dragon Capsule will also be the most cost effective and safest space vehicle in the market.

There are a couple of veteran Apollo astronauts, Niel Armstrong and Gene Cernan, who disagree with the Obama administration's decision to contract flights with private spaceflight companies for the transportation of American astronauts to the International Space Station. They suggest that it is safer and more efficient for the government to develop, own and operate its own fleet of space vehicles. They have yet to accept Elon Musk's invitation to visit SpaceX's facilities in California, a gesture he was hoping could clear up their concerns. But SpaceX has its own former NASA astronaut, Garrett Reisman, working on making the Dragon capsule ready for human space flight. Reisman likens Elon Musk's space flight endeavor to that of Howard Hughes and TWA.

Take some time to watch the 15 minute interview with Elon Musk on 60 minutes to see what drove this man to use his personal fortune to start a privately owned space company.

04 March, 2012

Winner of Life, the Universe and Everything

Ok, so my poem tied for first place in Life, the Universe and Everything's poetry contest. This is the first time I have submitted my writing to anything. Maybe I should do this more often. Life, the Universe, and Everything is a speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror) writers conference. They have guest speakers and authors who conduct writers workshops. Here is the poem I submitted that won the competition. It is written in Iambic Pentameter but there is one line off that doesn't have the stressed and unstressed syllables perfect. Shakespeare didn't always get it right either.

Where the Gold lay.

The beast is dead, his claws now cracked, no breath.
In fight he fell, one victim for the proud.
On fields men kill, the great, the bold, till death
and climb the dead with woe. Knight takes a vow,
a token of true fondness. Gazing blind,
death’s stare is but a day, a week, a year
and still love keeps the fake of powdered mime.
In dreams she peers in crystal balls. No cheer,
no sound, she screams, his beat of heart is wrought.
In time the scars of dreadful past will stitch.
The day is far she keeps him close in thought,
in breast. Her bones now ache the burning itch
of tells when rock with stone are forged and crushed.
To stop a crown the Gold lie down in dust.